BEREA—All of the Browns rookies and a few veterans, including quarterbacks Colt McCoy, Seneca Wallace and Thaddeus Lewis took the field Wednesday to start training camp.
They joined the headliners of the 2012 draft class in Trent Richardson, Brandon Weeden, Josh Gordon, Travis Benjamin and Mitchell Schwartz as players who are expected to make an immediate impact on the Browns offense.
“The rookies really benefit from getting out here and getting started,” Pat Shurmur said. “They look like they’re in great shape.
“We can see the benefit of the off-season program,” he said. “There’s a lot of good, young talent out here.”
Starting with Richardson and Weeden, Shurmur said he expects to name the starting quarterback ‘sooner than later’.
He said that in minicamp, but sounded as though he will name the starter before the start of the first preseason game on Fri. Aug. 10 against the Lions.
“I expected that (question),” Shurmur said. “Sooner is better than later. All of the (quarterbacks) are out here working. I feel good about what I saw from Brandon, Colt (McCoy) and Seneca (Wallace).”
Shurmur sounded like he might make an announcement pretty soon.
“It will be sooner than later,” he said. “It makes sense to name (the starter) well before the start of games.”
Weeden said it doesn’t matter to him when the decision is made.
“It makes no difference,” he said. “I have not much control over that. When the coaches are comfortable (with the decision), they’ll do it.” Weeden says he’s much more comfortable with the Browns system since his arrival.
“I’ve grown a ton since day one to the last OTA when I felt in control,” he said. Shurmur said Richardson looks good to him.
“He’s in better shape,” Shurmur said. “He got caught in the whirlwind, like all of the top picks after the draft and he was a little out of shape.” Richardson is very happy he didn’t hold out.
“It’s a blessing to be here,” Richardson said. “I think Brandon and me learning together and both of us working hard to learn and be ready.”
Big Guy: Rookie WR Josh Gordon looked the part in his first on the field practice witnessed by the media. The 6-3, 225 second-round pick in the recent supplemental draft was being taught after nearly every drill by the coaches after having no off-season with the team. It appeared the coaches are trying to get the rookie up to speed as quickly as possible.
“We did a lot of work with him privately,” Shurmur said. “We got to know him very well to pick him in the supplemental draft. He’s big and strong and we’re going to bring him along.”
Shurmur said his first impressions are that ‘He can be a great player’.
Weeden said he’s looking forward to pairing Gordon up with Greg Little.
“To have two guys that physically gifted on the field together,” he said. “They will only make each other better.”
Four a Crowd?: The Browns currently have four quarterbacks in the meeting room with Colt McCoy, Seneca Wallace, Brandon Weeden and Thaddeus Lewis, but Weeden said he’s learning a lot from the veterans.
“We really have a good meeting room,” Weeden said. “I’m looking forward to competing with those guys.”
Windsor Practices: WR Rod Windsor, who was on the practice squad last year was taking part in the practices. Windsor is a one-year player from Western New Mexico.
Off Thursday: The veterans are expected to report on Thursday and after no practices open to the media on Thursday, the Browns veterans will practice with the rookies on Friday from 2 pm to 4 pm. The first practice open to the public will be on Saturday from 8:45 to 11:15.
No Holdouts: With none of the rookies holding out, it is expected the entire roster will be on hand for when practices for the full roster begin Friday. Barring an unforeseen circumstance, all players are expected to be ready for camp.